Posts Tagged: raleigh wedding venues
We at Southern Bride & Groom magazine know The Umstead Hotel and Spa best for its elegant weddings and receptions. We’ve featured several Umstead wedding events over the last few years and you can view a stunning reception in our current edition! The award-winning Umstead is praised for so much more than exemplary events, including its acclaimed Herons restaurant, stellar spa facilities, impeccable service and luxurious guest accommodations. This month I discovered that great things are in the works at The Umstead when I was invited to a wonderful lunch and tour for a small group of area business professionals, hosted by founder and owner Ann Goodnight, General Manager John Beley, and marketing manager Darah Whyte.
We all informally discussed the direction of the Triangle business growth and learned much about the ecological vision of The Umstead Hotel and Spa. Manager, John Beley, is highly concerned and involved with employee workplace satisfaction, and was recognized when the hotel was named one of the “Best Places to Work” by the Triangle Business Journal in 2011. This assures their goal of an elevated guest experience in all aspects of service. The company mindset, the food, the additions and the renovations at The Umstead Hotel & Spa all reflect a renewed and dedicated purpose towards worker and guest happiness, along with conservation of the environment.
GOING GREEN with DINING
The Umstead Hotel and Spaas a whole is moving towards a state-of-the-art eco-friendly system – and I’ll elaborate on that below. But allow me a diversion so I can share our outstanding lunch. I know we are all foodies here in our Triangle area. Seriously, the diners at our lunch were taking pictures of their dishes as they were served before the first bite!
Herons, the (5-diamond AAA, Forbes Five Star, and a dozen more awards) restaurant located in The Umstead Hotel, is the perfect pick for an impressive occasion, but really should be experienced for any special lunch or dinner outing with friends. The restaurant was very busy on our Thursday lunch day in April, but never felt crowded. After enjoying a salad of lovely baby spring lettuces, hoop cheddar and pickled strawberries with white balsamic, some of Chef John Childer’s entrée choices included a Lobster Roll with hand-cut vinegar potato chips, a Hot Smoked Salmon with butter beans, sugar snap peas and arugula, and Grass Fed Beef Sirloin with roasted marble potatoes, crispy broccoli and bacon sauce. I enjoyed a succulent natural chicken breast over Carolina rice that was melt-in-your-mouth tender! For dessert, we chose between a lemony chocolate napoleon in puff pastry or an original Pavlova with strawberries and mascarpone over coconut angel food cake created by pastry chef Daniel Benjamen. With the yummmmm-murmerings of everyone at the table, it was tough not to ask for one of everything on the menu that day, but I vow to return to enjoy more selections.
FARM FRESH, LOCAL and HOMEMADE
We learned that The Umstead has it’s own mini-farm called Maggie’s Farm, named after its manager guru. This organic enterprise freshly supplies nearly all of Herons vegetables, fruits and herbs during the full growing seasons. Herons menu also serves natural and locally-sourced meats plus organic coffee from local purveyor, Larry’s Beans. Even the coffee grounds are being used within their mushroom farming project. Hooray for herb scones and melt in your mouth cornbread and rolls. All breads and pastries are homemade by chef Daniel. Herons is an impressive dining experience to share with your business group, associates, friends or special partner. I hope I didn’t leave anyone out. Herons also hosts Uncorked Wine Dinners every last Thursday of the month to enjoy perfect wine and food pairings along with new taste experiences!
ADDITIONS & RENOVATIONS with ENERGY CONSERVATION
The Umstead Hotel is on their final phase to complete the 150 guestrooms of their original plan when opened in 2007. Guestrooms have been redecorated in a soothing aqua shade and have luxurious new drapery, curtains, carpet, bedding and interactively built-in bedframes. The balconies allow guests to also enjoy the natural outdoor surroundings.
The guest rooms are incorporating an evolve system – a environmentally conscious controlled lighting and energy-savings installation that is personalized for guests. The Umstead Hotel as a whole is moving towards a state-of-the-art eco-friendly system for energy conservation.
Even the captivating artwork that is exhibited throughout the hotel, as well as in each beautiful guestroom, reflects this love of nature. The pieces are mainly by accomplished regional and national artists whose work evokes our area of the country, and reflects the hotel’s wooded North Carolina setting that borders the William B. Umstead State Park.
THE SPA – THERE’S MORE TO COME and ENJOY
My experiences at The Umstead Spa have always been memorable. It’s the ideal place to relax and bond with a friend, or enjoy with the “girls” to celebrate an occasion. I personally love the hot-tub time between massage treatments to unwind. The Spa is currently closed for expansion and design refurb, so stay tuned for the newly enlarged spa news and the slated re-opening in July. We hear (from top sources!) there will be a new coed “current” pool, in addition to the separate men’s and women’s sauna and whirlpool areas, plus a sophisticated new nail salon with more pedicure chairs, which I think may be the most comfortable spa chairs on the planet!
A WORD ABOUT THE WEDDINGS
To the brides who are looking for that perfect wedding weekend location, you’ll be happy to know that The Umstead brides can enjoy the gorgeous wedding garden that overlooks the pine-surrounded lake for their ceremony, then choose between a smaller intimate banquet room or elegant larger ballroom, both with an extensive outdoor patio terrace to use for the wedding of her dreams. Brides will love the spa and its services, and may enjoy a bridal event such as a bridesmaids’ luncheon in the spa or by the pool. The guest rooms have been updated and the service is unsurpassed so this is a hotel that has it all.
We love the greening of The Umstead!
~ Donna Parks, Publisher, SB&G
All of the gals at Southern Bride & Groom are thrilled to reveal our second cover for 2013, and the 26th edition of our Triangle-based wedding planning magazine!
Our stunning Summer/Fall cover was captured by the amazing husband and wife photography team, Meridith and James of Photography by Walters & Walters, on a pleasantly-cool summer day during our floral shoot for this year’s magazine.
The shoot took place at the picturesque Rose Hill Plantation in Nashville, NC. Rose Hill is a quintessential Southern wedding venue complete with beautiful, well-manicured grounds, a stunning historic plantation home, and a lofty reception hall. Though the plantation lies only minutes outside of Raleigh, you feel as if you are entering another world as you make your way up the Crepe Myrtle-lined country lane leading up to the historic estate house.
The cover photo features a sweet bouquet designed by Flowers by Gary. This bouquet oozes Southern charm with its seersucker wrap, blue hydrangeas and magnolia leaves. Our lovely model is wearing a stunning gown from Lana Addison Bridal, a boutique located in Cary, NC, and is adorned with a David Yurman necklace and pair of earrings from Bailey’s Fine Jewelry. Her hair and makeup were done by the talented ladies at Bella Trio Day Spa.
Want more of the floral shoot? Grab a copy of this year’s Southern Bride & Groom, and check out our behind-the-scenes blog post, complete with never-before-seen photos of the shoot!
In honor of Wedding Wednesday, we’ve got a fabulous Real NC Wedding feature for y’all today! Sherena and Xavier married in March at The Grand Marquise Ballroom, and she was SUCH a stunning bride! Congrats Sherena and Xavier, your wedding was gorgeous!
Sherena first laid eyes on Xavier outside of Harrelson Hall on NC State’s campus, and it was love at first sight! Six years later, the day after her birthday, Xavier asked Sherena to be his bride, and of course, she said yes!
Since she was six years old, Sherena had dreamed of having a big, fairytale wedding, and because her husband-to-be’s last name was King, she settled on the theme “A King’s Affair.” After months of searching for the perfect venue for her “royal” wedding, she stumbled across The Grand Marquise Ballroom, and knew it was the place she’d been looking for. Sherena fell in love with the ballroom’s Louis XIV interior, marble columns, ornate trim and coffer ceilings with crystal chandeliers.
The duo’s charcoal and silver wedding took place in March, and the royal theme was carried out through a custom emblem surrounding the wedding monogram – used on everything from the aisle runner and the programs to the reception floor lighting and the wedding signage!
After receiving a copy of Southern Bride & Groom at The Grand Marquise, Sherena and Xavier used many members of the SB&G family to make their day perfect, including: Shawn Schindler of Your Special Day Weddings and Special Events, beautiful florals by Fresh Affairs, a delicious “K” monogrammed cake from Sweet Memories Bakery, and delicious food from Rocky Top Catering.
Wedding & Reception Location: The Grand Marquise Ballroom – Garner, NC
Minister: Rev. Algernon McKenzie
Rerhearsal Dinner: Babylon Restaurant
Wedding Planner: Shawn Schindler of Your Special Day Weddings and Special Events
Catering: Rocky Top Catering
Bridal Gown: Ines di Santo
Bridal Shoes: Pink Paradox London
Bridal Jewelry: Erin Cole
Bridesmaid Dresses: Watters & Wtoo
Formalwear: Ronnie Warner – Life Tailor Made & Black by Vera Wang
Hair: Ebony J. Loving Your Hair Salon
Makeup: S. Davis Makeup Artistry, LLC
Photographer: Michelle Gunton Photography
Videographer: Hart to Heart Media, Inc.
Florist: Fresh Affairs
Cake: Sweet Memories Bakery
Invitations: Magnet Street
Ceremony Musicians: North Carolina Harp Ensemble
Reception Music: Joe Bunn DJ Company
Rentals: CE Rentals
Guest Accommodations: Wingate By Wyndham
Wedding Favors: Krispy Kreme donuts
Transportation: Blue Diamond Limousine
To the Triangle foodies out there, Raleigh’s Bia restaurant should be on your “must dine” list. Solas, one of downtown Raleigh’s hottest nightclubs (and also a great wedding venue), recently separated its restaurant out with a new brand: Bia. I was honored to attend a special Childress Vineyards wine pairing dinner at this beautiful restaurant last night.
The differences in Bia are not just in the name; there is a new chef onboard, Dan Yeager, as well as a new General Manager, Scott Kleczkowski- and we got to meet both of them last night. The guests at this intimate dinner were treated to five courses of experimental creations from the Bia kitchen – which specializes in fusion global cuisine. As each course was presented, both the chef and Mark Friszolowski, the winemaker himself from renowned Childress Vineyards – spoke as to the nature of the pairing.
I cannot praise Bia enough for the level of service, the fabulous ambiance, and the fantastic food. I truly hope that some of the creative dishes we tried make it to the regular menu (my personal fave was the “coffee braised shortrib with seasonal vegetables,” but closely matched by the unique “potato wrapped branzino with red pepper lemon beurre blanc”)! I highly recommend attending one of these special wine dinners – which they host once a month – for a chance to try some very special dishes and get to know the Solas family on an intimate level.
It was very special to learn the story of Childress Vineyards in such a private setting from the winemaker, Mr. Friszolowski. The winery was founded by NASCAR team owner Richard Childress (the concept was originated by Childress and his colleague, Dale Earnhardt, and one of the wines we tried was “Free” – a tribute to his lost friend). Childress carried out the dream to have his own farm and winery with the help of his business partner, Greg Johns. Childress Vineyards is just outside of Lexington, which is midway between Winston Salem and Charlotte, and is now the largest state-of-the-art winery in North Carolina – not only a tourist destination but an event venue as well. The wines we sampled last night were outstanding – my personal favorite was the 2007 Cabernet Franc, (from Yadkin grapes) – which was paired flawlessly with the shortrib.
Mr. Firszolowski taught us a little bit about the NC wine industry as well and how much it has grown. When Mr. Childress started the project of building his own winery, there were only 19 statewide. Would you be surprised to learn that today that number has soared to 122 wineries crossing the entire state of North Carolina? (Apparently, everyone in NC lives within 50 miles of a winery) This is out of 6,000 in the US, which puts us as 10th ranking for wine production in our country – not too shabby! So check out your nearest wineries – a day trip spent strolling through a vineyard and tasting wine is a pretty fun way to support your local economy!
In honor of Wedding Wednesday, we’ve got a fabulous Real Raleigh NC Wedding feature for y’all today! Enjoy Katie and Adam’s sweet love story and gorgeous photos from their big day in December!
Katie and Adam met at Whole Foods, where Adam worked, when she approached the customer service desk. The two hit it off with an instant connection, and Katie rushed home to gush to her mother about the cute guy at the grocery store — who didn’t ask for her number! Her mom convinced her to return to the store to give it to him, and it paid off — Adam called her that evening to ask her on a date, and the pair have been together ever since.
So, when the couple tied the knot this past December, it was with an overwhelming amount of love. Kailey from A Southern Soiree helped make their big day fabulous, along with a slew of other members of the SB&G Family, including: Cobblestone Hall, Rocky Top Catering, Tre Bella Flowers and Sugarland.
Check out these beautiful photographs from Azul Photography capturing the couple’s ceremony at Sacred Heart Cathedral and reception at Cobblestone Hall, and prepare to swoon!
Wedding Coordinator: A Southern Soiree
Ceremony: Sacred Heart Cathedral
Reception: Cobblestone Hall
Photographer: Azul Photography
Catering: Rocky Top Catering
Reception Music: Joe Bunn DJ Company
Florist: Tre Bella
Invitations: Paper Buzz
Bridal Gown: Traditions by Anna
Transportation: Blue Diamond Limousine and Raleigh Rickshaw
It will officially be spring this week – and wedding season officially commences! What Durham and Raleigh bridal events are happening this week? Southern Bride & Groom magazine has the scoop – read on to find out!
Wedding Story Writer Official Launch
Thursday, March 21, 6:00-8:00PM
Saks Fifth Avenue, 7700 Old Wake Forest Road, Raleigh
Wedding Story Writer is new, one-of-a-kind business, founded by local writer Michelle McMurray. Have your wedding story written and created into a masterpiece book to last a lifetime, complete with original sketches. Learn more at the launch party at Saks this Thursday evening. A storybook will be on display, as well as samples of the original artwork. There will also be a perfume bar, and guests will enjoy champagne and light bites. RSVP to email@example.com or 919.434.9179.
Highgrove Bridal Open House
Saturday, March 23, 2013, 10:00am-1:00pm
Stop by the beautiful Highgrove Estate on Laurel Lake in Fuquay Varina to tour the gorgeous wedding venue, and taste the delectable creations of their catering staff.
Cotton Room Open House
Sunday, March 24, 2013, 5:00-8:00pm
Visit The Cotton Room in Durham’s hip Golden Belt area to visit this hot wedding venue, taste amazing food from Triangle Catering, and check out the new neighboring venue, Belt Line Station.
Doubletree by Hilton Raleigh-Durham Airport at Research Triangle Park just finished an extensive nine month, $8 million renovation that includes design enhancements to the exterior and interior public spaces, guest room makeovers, the introduction of a new, locally-driven restaurant and an expanded outdoor terrace, perfect for weddings!
The Raleigh-Durham wedding venue and spectacular hotel boasts a wonderfully convenient location in the heart of the Triangle area, and is the perfect venue for all of your needs on your wedding day — from beautiful ceremony and reception space to elegant guest accommodations only steps from the RDU airport.
Last July, Doubletree by Hilton Raleigh-Durham Airport at RTP began updating and enhancing its 248 guest rooms and suites, all 9,400 square feet of meeting space, and all public areas. Two covered porches have been added to the 1,800 square feet of outdoor space, and the grand veranda with wicker rocking chairs and porch swings remains a favorite spot for guests. The hotel also updated the outdoor swimming pool, the fitness center and business center.
The hotel also unveils a new restaurant as part of the renovations — Vintage Carolina, which will partner with local artisans and feature a menu of locally grown cuisine.
Thanks to Neil Boyd Photography for providing this post’s photos of the gorgeous renovations!
In honor of Wedding Wednesday, we’ve got a fabulous Real Raleigh NC Wedding feature for y’all today! Enjoy Wil & Brian’s sweet ceremony and beautiful photographs from their big day last August!
Brian and Wil hit it off when they met at a Halloween party. They have shared a wonderful, loving relationship for several years and are even business partners, running a full service event design company specializing in destination weddings and travel arrangement – Blue-17.
Wil officially propsed to Brian at The Umstead Hotel & Spa‘s Herons, with an engagement ring presented on top of a delectable cupcake! After a legal ceremony in New York in July 2012, the couple held a symbolic ceremony here in North Carolina so they could celebrate with their friends and family. And of course, the duo incorporated The Umstead into their special day by sharing a suite and using the grounds for some beautiful portraits.
For a unique spin, Brian and Wil held their reception at Heat Studios in Raleigh. As a personal training studio, Heat Studios isn’t traditionally considered a “venue,” but the couple loved the exposed beams and beautiful oak floors, and with a little draping and rearranging, the space truly turned out beautifully!
The couples used several members of the SB&G Family to make their big day exactly as they’d pictured, including: a rehearsal dinner at Sparians, flowers and catering by Catering Works, Reverend Barbara Lodge, photography by Kevin Milz, The Umstead Hotel & Spa, and entertainment by Ryan of SPIN. The studio happened to be featuring artwork with a Vegas style at the time, so for a little extra fun and unexpected entertainment for the reception, Wil and Brian added casino tables.
As an event planner, Wil knew he would have “a little trouble letting go” on his wedding day, but “with Maid of Honor Ami and Lorin Laxton (of Catering Works) at the helm, there was nothing to worry about!”
Now enjoy these wonderful photographs from Kevin Milz! The heart-felt moments that radiate in these images are truly what a wedding is all about! Congratulations, Brian and Wil – we wish you both a happy marriage!
Reception: Heat Studios
Caterer: Catering Works
Entertainment: Casino tables from RSVP Events
Officiate: Rev. Barbara Lodge
Photographer: Kevin Milz
Men’s Formalwear: Calvin Klein and English Laundry
Florist: Catering Works
Cake and Candy Station: Cinda’s Creative Cakes
Invitations: Made by Wil
Rehearsal Dinner: Sparians
Wedding Consultant: Blue-17 and Lorin Laxton of Catering Works
Musicians: Ryan of SPIN
Linens: CE Rental
Transportation: Blue Diamond and EcoStyle
Guest Accommodations: The Umstead Hotel & Spa
Favors: Boxes from the candy station
Brides-to-be, here’s an upcoming Open House you don’t want to miss! Cobblestone Hall in Raleigh’s Historic Moore Square Arts District is hosting a Bridal Open House on Wednesday, February 27 from 5:00-8:00pm. Cobblestone Hall is a gorgeous venue in Downtown Raleigh complete with old world charm and an overwhelming a sense of elegance.
Come meet the Cobblestone Hall staff and their preferred vendors at this special event, where you and your fiancé can enjoy “A Taste of Cobblestone Hall,” featuring hors d’oeuvres and drinks. If you select Cobblestone Hall for your big day during the tasting, you will be treated to a 10% discount on the facility rental! Showtime Events is a full-service event management company to help you in every way during your wedding planning — from facility to rental to walking down the aisle!
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org ASAP!